CABE, Coquitlam Alternative Basic Education secondary school, has applied to Adopt-a-School for $55,000. The school wants to renovate and expand an old kitchen as a teaching kitchen to teach the teen parents at the school how to provide healthy meals.
At the Coquitlam Alternative Basic Education school (CABE), seventeen-year-old Tanis Hanson attends the Coquitlam Alternative Basic Education school (CABE). She loves the school, she said, as four-month-old Zaylia was bounced on her knee.
“It makes learning easy,” said Hanson, who lives in Aunt Leah’s Place — a residence for young mothers where she can stay until she is 19. “It takes away a lot of stress.”
When she graduates, she is planning to become a pediatric nurse and is hoping to take advantage of a unique post-secondary scholarship program provided to the school by Wesbild Holdings.
The program was devised by Nezhat Khosrowshahi, whose family owns Wesbild and has supported Adopt-A-School since its inception in 2011 with significant donations for food and other assistance to schools in Coquitlam and Vancouver.
She offers scholarships that allow CABE mothers to attend university or other post-secondary institutions or trade schools once they graduate.
There is a row of photographs of successful post-graduate student mothers on the wall at the school.
One of the first students of the program has now completed a criminology degree at SFU and next year will be studying law at UBC.
“Who gets out with a degree, a baby and no student loan?” asked CABE youth worker Jill Allen, pointing to a photograph of her former student with no lack of pride.
“She’s blessed and so are we for having Naz’s support,” said Allen. “We’ve told Tanis it will be available for her, too.”
Meanwhile, The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund, which administers the Adopt-A-School program, has so far received requests from schools for almost $500,000 to help deal with hunger and poverty across the province.
Surrey, the largest school district in B.C. and with many refugees settling there, is asking for more than $240,000 in aid.
Harold Munro, editor of The Sun and Province newspapers and chair of the Children’s Fund board, said he was heartened by the response of readers to the campaign to date.
“We still have a long way to go and the need is great, but I’m optimistic,” said Munro. “Our readers have never let us down and they realize this is an important issue which needs all our support.”
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